February 12, 2010. Necessary to address FAU administrators’ continued stonewalling, PERC hearing anticipated in April.
Readers of this blog are well aware of the FAU administration’s extravagant degree of foot-dragging and refusal to agree to a preliminary meeting for arbitration of the Chapter Grievance relating to the reorganization and subsequent layoff of five tenured faculty members in the College of Engineering. Article 20.3(b) of the CBA empowers UFF to “file a grievance in a dispute over a provision of this Agreement which confers rights upon the UFF.”
An Unfair Labor Practice charge has been processed by UFF-FAU after repeated pleas to the FAU administration to comply with the CBA on the above. Contrary to Provost Diane Alperin’s interpretive remarks, FAU does not have the right to assess the arbitrability of a grievance it is a party to. On January 28 this ULP was referred to Florida Education Association attorneys. We anticipate this action will receive a hearing before the Public Employees Relations Commission in April.
Should this action even be necessary? Not if the wishes of UFF and the College of Engineering faculty were acknowledged and forthrightly addressed by FAU administrators. Not if the FAU administration and BOT adhered to the CBA to which they are signatories. The administrators’ stance in this and related matters is to throw up roadblocks and stall when they perceive they may be in the wrong, hoping somehow that the clock will run out so they don’t have to face up to pressing faculty concerns they are paid quite dearly to deal with. In the end, the taxpayer will likely have to pick up the tab for hefty legal fees on this unfortunate and drastic action.
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